At the Elite Sports Rehabilitation and Performance show this year at the London Excel, I got to see a few of the promising new developments coming out of the research for improving sports performance.
Amidst all manner of inventions and tech breakthroughs like infrared light therapy and some other more fancy contraptions, there was the PulseRoll – and let me start by saying this is definately a big step toward the future of myofascial tension release.
The PulseRoll is a vibrating, multi-speed foam roller – which I have to say straight away, does it’s job brilliantly. It does not attempt to reinvent the wheel – instead, it took a perfectly well designed tool (foam roller) and simply added good vibes to the whole experience! 😉
There is also a peanut shaped version called the PulseBall, which is harder to use due to the smaller surface area – I’d say that’s more for intermediate users and athletes as you need to be able to surrender to the pressure. It also allows for greater accuracy in targetting the trigger points.
Now usually I would use a small massage therapy ball or a typical spikey/hard foam roller. The PulseRoll not only has a good surface for friction but the vibrations penetrate deeper into the fascia and fibre as you up the ante on the vibration level – this instantly forces a relaxation reflex on even the tightest areas.
A fairly large part of rolling effectively is knowing what you are doing – going slowly but firmly, knowing when to stop or move, surrendering to the pressure, breathing and relaxation are key. Using the PulseRoll however made much of the usual pain dissappear through the provision of a constant vibration, allowing me to concentrate more on the release rather than blocking the pain.
In this way it was much more efficient than using a traditional roller, allowing me to finish my release in around 10m where it would usually take me double that time. For an all over release, start at the neck or upper back and work your way down until you finish at your calves.
Check out the video for some example movements you can do on this, and if you don’t roll already, I definately recommend you get one!